ALLEIN Maliksi thought Converge's Barkley Ebona wasn’t going for the ball when he committed a hard foul on the Meralco wingman, leading to an endgame commotion in the PBA Governors' Cup game on Friday night.
Although he gave Ebona the benefit of the doubt, the 35-year-old Maliksi said he felt the Converge big man went after his face while trying to protect the ball in the final six seconds of overtime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I don’t think that’s the case because he’s not going for the ball, he’s realy going for the face,” said Maliksi moments after the 132-129 win. “You can foul me on the shoulder or other parts of the body, but he’s going for the (face).”
Ebona committed the hard contact as the FiberXers tried to stop the clock with the Bolts holding on a two-point lead and enjoying possession.
After briefly going down, Maliksi stood up and charged at Ebona in front of the Meralco bench and appeared to put the former Far Eastern University stalwart in a chokehold, sparking a shoving incident.
Maliksi was later whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 2 for an outright ejection, while Ebona was called for a flagrant foul penalty 1.
The Meralco shooting forward said he had to restrain himself after initially losing his cool.
“Actually, pinigilan ko lang yung sarili ko. I tried na hawakan lang talaga yung…,” said Maliksi while holding on his own neck. “Nanggigil talaga ako. Sobrang nag-hold back na talaga ako.”
He was not aware though, his action would merit an F2.
“Hindi ko alam na F2 kapag hinawakan mo (dito),” said Maliksi while pointing to his neck.
At the same time, Maliksi believes Ebona also deserved to be called for an F2.
"What's the difference of you punching [someone] in the face and you holding his neck? F2 sa akin, F1 sa kanya," he said.
The Meralco vetern admitted getting a bit dizzy following the contact that he had to sit down for a few minutes to get his bearings back.
The incident almost spoiled a big night for Maliksi, who hit a clutch three pointer just a few seconds following the incident that put Meralco in front, 130-128.
He finished with 12 points while going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc as the Bolts improved to 6-4 for fifth place in a tie with Converge.
“Ok naman. We got the win and that’s the most important thing,” said Maliksi.